Kaufman Family Under Fire Over Sea Rescue
There is growing outrage directed at the parents who took their two little girls on a round-the-world sailing voyage that nearly ended in disaster.
A just-released photo shows the Kaufman family of San Diego being transported to a U.S. Navy warship following their dramatic rescue on the high seas.
Their 36-foot sailboat Rebel Heart was disabled in the remote Pacific Ocean about 900 miles off the coast of Mexico. Onboard was dad Eric, mom Charlotte, three-year-old Cora and one-year-old Lyra. Lyra was seriously ill with a rash and high fever.
A dramatic video shows an elite four-man team from the California Air National Guard making a daring parachute jump into the ocean to rescue the family and save the baby, who is now in stable condition.
INSIDE EDITION spoke Monday to Charlotte Kaufman's sister, Sarah. Sarah said, "The fever is gone and the rash is going away. That is the update that I have had and obviously when they come ashore, she will immediately be checked out at the hospital."
Eric and Charlotte Kaufman posted photos and videos on their blog as they lived their dream of sailing around the world with their kids. The photos show the tight living quarters below deck where the children had to live.
Now they are coming under fire on their Facebook page with comments like: “How selfish of the parents to jeopardize the lives of their tiny and helpless children.”
Even Charlotte's own brother was quoted as calling the round-the-world voyage "crazy," but her sister has come to their defense. "I would always ask them, 'What happens in this situation?" And they were able to answer all those questions," said Sarah.
INSIDE EDITION spoke to Abby Sunderland, who faced her own withering criticism at the age of 16 in 2010, when she failed in her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.
Sunderland explained, "I'm the mother of a one-year-old and I would pick up and do it. For people who grew up around it and who it is part of their life, you aren't really scared to do it. Whereas it might seem terrifying to some parents."
The Kaufman family, now safely on board the U.S.S. Vandergrift, defended themselves in a statement: "This is how our family has lived for seven years. We were then and remain today confident that we prepared as well as any sailing crew could."
Charlotte's sister told INSIDE EDITION, "I don't have a doubt in my mind that they will sail again."